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Business Phone Systems for SMBsFor those of us that deal with business phone systems and telecom terminology every day, it can be easy to forget that not everyone shares that familiarity. Many of the companies that own or are looking to purchase a business phone system are unfamiliar with terms widely used in the industry. This is especially true among small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), where the lack of dedicated IT or other technical staff results in a lack of awareness of current technology trends.A recent survey conducted by Hanover Research on the perception and usage of business phone systems found that the vast majority of SMBS are not familiar with telecom terminology. Common industry terms that SMBs are not familiar with include IP telephony, hosted PBX, SIP trunks, and unified communications.
Additionally, most SMBs surveyed, 74 percent, still consider voice communication as crucial to their business operations. The most commonly used features reflect this importance on voice, with the top five being three-way calling, intercom, conference call bridges, music on hold, and calling other locations using extensions.
However, this does not mean that there is no desire among SMBs for modern business phone systems or the advanced features offered by hosted PBX. Thirty-eight percent of the businesses surveyed want to be able to receive voicemails as email attachments, 25 percent want remote desk phones, and 24 percent want a mobile client for their desk phones. These features are all available today via AireSpring’s AirePBX cloud phone system. Furthermore, the majority of SMBs intend to purchase a new business phone system within the next three years, with old or outdated voice equipment cited as the primary reason for doing so.
Beyond this demand, there are many additional features and capabilities that can benefit SMBS by improving efficiency and providing greater flexibility. The challenge is that businesses are unaware of these potential benefits, due at least in part to unfamiliarity with the terminology as previously mentioned. It is necessary to both move away from industry specific terms and educate SMBs on cloud phone systems and other technologies in order to facilitate clearer communications and realize the potential opportunities available to businesses, providers, and partners.